Archive for Israel

Syria On My Mind

Posted in English, Middle East, Stories and Tales with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2013-06-15 by candycactus

This blog is not about politics. Maybe it is. Listening to the news about Syria, I am thinking much about the experience there in 2007 and what is happening now, trying not to judge, just to observe. Here are some thoughts that cross my mind. When I lived some time in Damascus in 2007 many people said to me that they preferred dictatorship than what was happening in Iraque at the same time. There are many things that make one thoughtful about what is really happening. As I stated some time ago – history is a pile of stones. It depends which stones are on top, this is what you see, but there are always many underneath that you cannot see easily. There is no right history. We are presented now the facts by the media, that are writing history in the very moment, but in the future they will most probably turn out either to be fake completely (as it happened several times with wars in the region) or in context of other facts they will look differently. The “stones”, facts about Syrian reality on my mind are like a disordered pile.

  • Syria has a social landscape of extreme religious diversity – Shiites, Sunni, Druze, Allewi, etc. However, Sunni muslims are trying to get the over hand in the region. Dictatorship made sure that this diversity could flourish.
  • Turkey has a majority of Sunni muslims. Religious minorities, such as Alewi and others have been persecuted and emigrated, many of them to Europe. Turkey is a member of NATO and is ally of USA. Who has more dictatorship in this case? Whirling sufis you’ve seen in Turkey on your trip? Bullshit. There are no not underground Sufis in Turkey.
  • The number of weapons available to rebels now in Syria could not have appeared in a short time. A long time secret action was needed to make it possible, also regarding the fact that the Assad’s regime did perform a lot of control. When the revolution was happening in the Baltic states, the weapons where pencils and sticks. Weapons do not appear just out of nowhere.
  • Turkey was fighting the PKK near boarders of Syria. Weird coincidence – the war against PKK has stopped as soon as the war in Syria began.
  • Turkey is in control of water flow from Euphrates and Tigris rivers to Syria and Iraque. The Ataturk dam effected that Northern Syria suffered from lack of water with all its consequences. Same thing is happening with Tigris Ilisu dam, affecting Iraque. By the way, with huge investments from Germany and other well off countries not from the region. (There are many dams being built in the North of Turkey resulting in the loss of millenium old architecture from ancient Bagrationi ruled Georgian-Armenian Tao Klarjeti region, events happening quietly, since Turkey through clever policy made sure where turists go and where not )
  • Jonathan Cook in his bookIsrael and The Clash of Civilizations. Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East. Jonathan Cook 2008 explores the speeches of various Israeli politicians and notes that it has been since the 50’s that the goal of Israeli policy was to cause a chaos in the Arabic world. One example from the book:

“Michael Ledeen, a former Pentagon official and an ideologue of the American Enterprise Institute had given voice to this longer-term neocon ambition in 2002, before the invasion of Iraq:

“First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with Saudi Arabia… Stability is an unworthy American mission, and misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize”. p.119  Link to my earlier post 

  • In one of the short films presented from Syria about the events now (a part of this project) it was interesting to hear a following story. There were guys fighting on the street in some town in Syria, people gathered around, more and more, and then the guys suddenly started shouting “Freedom” and the crowed joined in, not thinking any more that the fight was staged in order to attract attention.

If you need to start a revolution, I think from these facts you can write a manual how to do it. Not difficult. Make sure that you isolate the country politically and economically beforehand. And put it on the dangerous country list so that nobody goes and sees it from your own country. And takes the news of today as they take it.

Accepting the permanent impermanence of things I am terribly sad that Damascus, the city of the cities will never be the same. This is how Syria looked like in 2007, have a look at some pictures here. 

PaveikslėlisA man selling fuhl in Damascus – beans sprinkled with cumin and lemon.

Happy New Year, PALESTINE!

Posted in English, Middle East, Stories and Tales, Video with tags , , , , , , on 2010-12-31 by candycactus

Believe in magic: that next year Palestinian people experience less injustice, that Palestinians in 2011 will be able to live in dignity, have drinking water, access to their homes and neighbors across the highway in the West Bank, that Gaza children can bathe in the sea, and that we all would meet as many Palestinians on vacation as we meet Israelis in Thailand, India, Lao, Mongolia and other cool places of the world!


Salt of This Sea

Interview with Robert Fisk

Peace Starts Here Project

From Beirut to Bosnia
This Palestinian Life
The Iron Wall

Paradise Now

Sirens or illegal falafel

Posted in English, Middle East, Stories and Tales, Travel diary, World Bike Trip with tags , , , on 2007-04-24 by candycactus

Memorial day. Sirens. For Israeli soldiers. All traffic stops. Everyone stops. Emotional. Tears in the eyes of people.

One of the weirdest phenomena. Aggressors manage to feel easily as victims. Germany after the first world war leading to the Nazi regime. Serbia. Israel. Severe problems with self esteem. Symptoms here – unimaginable arrogance against anything beyond the boarder. Showing off. Taking too many showers.

Not the enemy, but the image of an enemy is what counts. Most Israelis, and to my surprise also left wing ones, dont know and dont mingle with Arabs. Two worlds. Side by side. Interaction and communication takes place only with bullets.

Two little Jewish girls in the Old Town in Jerusalem are being followed by a body guard  equiped with a heavy machine gun. The houses nearby have been overtaken by Jewish from the Arabs. It would go like this, that they would come with the fake ownership papers, get the Arabs out, and be sure, that the court will never do anything about this.

This is the place where the is no white and black. There are no good or bad guys. Not among ones or the others. No saints in this game. Neither on Palestinian, nor on Israeli side. And not the ones who tried to save this place from something – Christian Orthodox could have tried to promote balance between the population, but the ruling point is fiscal calculation. The church sold enourmous land and real estate in Jerusalem to the ones who offered more money. As simple as that. And these were Jewish.

It is by law that every class of children has to be guarded by someone with the gun. The ones who carry the thing are maybe 18. Children themselves.

All, men and women are obliged to go to the army for two years. Except the Arabic Israelis.

All perfect strategies to create an enemy. And maintain the illusion, that everyone is individual here. Brainwash? What is it? We are in a free democratic country.

We were hungry on the memorial day. Even if I respect every persons sorrow, I am strictly against these kind of memorial days, since they are a clear tool of manipulation of peoples emotions in a directions that is wanted by the ones in the power. We went to Jaffa, an Arabic district of Tel Aviv to find something to eat. The streets full of police, controlling also that all shops and inns are closed. We were lucky. One restaurant unlocked. We got inside. They locked again. Windows covered with paper.

There was a period few years ago, during the Zuokas rule, when it was illegal to ride a bike in Vilnius or ride skates. The easiest way to sell cameras because of the increased criminality. Making eating a falafel illegal one can increase criminality even more. Those dirty Arabs they say. And receive billions from US for weapons and cameras.

Arabs gave us food that night.